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Deputy Secretary Medicaid Director Justin Senior pushing for quick LIP resolution

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Deputy Secretary for Medicaid Justin Senior had a busy day on Monday.

Not only was Senior making a presentation at the House Health and Human Services Committee on Monday, he spent time on the phone with officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services discussing Florida’s new Low Income Pool proposal and Florida’s proposed plan to put the money into rates.

The Department of Health and Human Services on Friday said it had not signed off on the idea Senior sent up to Washington to use $1 billion in non-recurring LIP dollars and the $1 billion in money counties contributed to the program into increasing hospital rates. The feds also had concerns with what Florida would do the following year when the LIP program is slated to be reduced to $600 million.

Senior said the conversations he had with the feds on Monday focused on the $600 million figure “and what the derivation was of that number.”

Senior will be attending the National Association of Medicaid Directors meeting in Chicago this weekend and early next week and said he will continue to press to try to get a final resolution on Florida’s proposal “and what the flow of the money will be” then.

“We need a clear indication of what they are willing to do and we’ll be pressing them on that,” Senior said.

Meanwhile, Senior said the conversations between Florida — which is suing Sylvia Burwell in federal court over LIP funding — have been cordial.

“There’s tension I think because of the time parameters and the time crunches. We are both under constraints,” Senior said. “I think the state and federal governments are feeling that pretty acutely.”

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